Reaching inward, outward, and forward on the path to reconciliation.

The Reach Group is the evolution of BCT Projects, a company founded by Leonard Jackson in 2016 to support First Nations and Industry to work, grow and prosper together. At the centre of the BCT Projects approach was the willingness of communities and companies to respect and work to understand each other, from initial conversations through project negotiations and into the establishment of long-term relationship agreements.

Today, we’re seeing growing understanding and acknowledgement of what is and has been true for Canada’s Indigenous Peoples; we’re seeing more active initiation of reconciliation efforts, as a result. And it’s why Leonard decided to expand the services and support he offered.

The Reach Group was born out of a belief in the interconnectedness of individual and community healing on a community’s ability to build a strong and sustainable economy for generations to come.

Our practitioners walk in two worlds: within the historical and cultural contexts of our ancestors, and within our respective professions. We work in Business, Law, Mental Health, and Cultural Education, advocating for and negotiating fair outcomes; building capacity; and removing barriers to community and economic growth.

The Reach Group is a founding member of the First Nations Capacity Fund (FNCF). Learn more about becoming a member.


Leonard Jackson  | 

Leonard has spent more than 25 years of his professional career facilitating relationships between Indigenous communities and Industry across British Columbia, in strategic leadership and operational roles with the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation, the Aboriginal Mentoring & Training Association, and BC Corrections.

Known for his upstanding ethical and moral standards, and his unwavering commitment to doing what he says he’s going to do, Leonard has a strong track record of success in developing lasting Aboriginal-Industry partnerships across the mining, forestry, powerline, oil and gas, and transportation sectors. His strong communication skills and empathetic approach to work have demonstrated time and time again that it’s possible to build positive and meaningful relationships, regardless of geographical setting, project constraints, or other project variables.

Leonard is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation.


Derek is a champion of Indigenous inclusion in major projects, youth development and education.

A former Chief of the McLeod Lake Indian Band, (2008-2017), Derek served as Board Chair for the Band’s Council and is the former Board President of Duz Cho Logging, Duz Cho Construction and Duz Cho Forest Products. As Chief, Derek focused on Economic Development and partnering with local companies in the Oil & Gas, Mining, and Wind Energy sectors, diversifying and negotiating large contracts that allowed his community to prosper and access the resources needed to develop community projects including a gas bar, daycare, and sawmill.

Most recently, following his MBA education, Derek worked with SA Energy Group as the Indigenous and Community Relations Manager where he worked closely with communities on the Coastal Gaslink and Trans Mountain Expansion projects to contract local businesses, recruit, train, and hire community members for employment.

Derek is a member of the McLeod Lake Indian Band.


Merle practices Indigenous resource law empowering nations through title and rights affirmation, UNDRIP implementation, sustainable economic development and environmental conservation. Merle is a ‘life of project’ lawyer assisting with negotiations of all stages of impact benefit agreements, joint ventures, regulatory engagement, traditional knowledge collection and other corporate and tax-related advice. He is continuously engaged in legal support for emerging government to government negotiations in all resource areas including mining, oil & gas, forestry, pipelines, run-of-river and hydro projects. When needed, Merle adapts his solicitor experience and skill set to the emerging and developing needs of Indigenous clients. Merle is recognized in the Business in Vancouver’s BC 500, Lexpert Directory and Chambers Canada as a leading lawyer in the area of Indigenous law.

Merle is a member and will inherit a hereditary chief title from Kitasoo Xai x’ais First Nation on the mid-coast of BC.


A seasoned mental health counsellor with 20 plus years of experience working with diverse populations, Carissa has extensive work experience in Indigenous communities and has been employed as a Residential School Survivor liaison, a workshop facilitator, a First Nations School Counsellor, Indigenous advocate, and a Mental Health Counsellor.

With knowledge in behavioural monitoring, assessments and interventions, Carissa brings an innovative, culturally competent, compassionate, and understanding approach to her work. Her clinical areas of intervention include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Client Centred Therapy, Mindfulness, Talk therapy, and Neuro-Linguistic programming. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Carissa is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation.


Shannon is a Registered Psychotherapist with a PhD focused on assessing effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) in a population of individuals deemed criminally insane.

Shannon works with individuals, families, and couples from diverse populations, including with individuals struggling with clinical diagnoses, as well as those who have experienced intergenerational trauma, PTSD, vicarious trauma, and addiction.

Her clinical areas of intervention include CBT, DBT, client centered, psychodynamic and equine assisted therapeutic modalities and, she is registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and a member of the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals.


For almost 20 years, Sheryl has worked as a business, communication, and cultural advisor to companies and communities. She partners with clients to evaluate and develop the strategic direction of projects respecting governance – titles and rights, accommodation, cultural education, history and protocols, communications, community engagement, and financial considerations.

Sheryl learned Squamish language from her late mother Audrey and practices her culture through songs, dances, and ceremonies. Active in service within the local community for many years, Sheryl is also the City of North Vancouver’s appointed Commissioner for the North Vancouver Museum & Archives. She is a graduate of the SFU’s Beedie School of Business Aboriginal Executive MBA Program.

Sheryl is a member of the Squamish Nation.

Reach Out to The Reach Group

We want to hear from Indigenous communities and companies with a genuine interest in reaching inward, outward, and forward. To travel together on the path to reconciliation and economic prosperity through the creation of successful Indigenous-Industry relationships.

Let’s start a conversation.

Call us